Italy has closed her ports to the NGO taxi service, and to the earnest young westerners with access to enough wealth to buy small merchant ships who have operated it, ferrying hundreds of thousands of Africans from both the maghreb and sub-saharan regions from the Libyan coast to the Mezzogiorno. And since it is not only these idiots but the Italian coastguard and Navy that has transferred migrants from their spanking-new Chinese rubber rafts for the trip across the Med, one wonders what orders they have now. Sailors are under an international legal obligation to respond to those in peril, but the law doesn't require us to go looking for them - so most likely their patrols have been restricted to the Italian coast, or even more wisely, they are now steaming to the Horn of Africa for anti-piracy operations.
I have printed before a version of the UN graphic below. Youth unemployment in Africa is between 25% and 70%. Over the next ten years the number of young Africans 15-24 will soar from 250m to over 300m - and the best guess is that some 50m of those will drift north, seeing their only future as recipients of European wealth.
This bulge in the number of young Africans is coming at a time when global opportunities for uneducated and unskilled young men is approaching a nadir; robots have replaced them as factory fodder, and even the traditional entry-profession of taxi driving is now under threat from AI. We have seasonal opportunities in the UK for fruit pickers and horticultural workers, but want the workers to go back home when the work ends. These folk want to stay.
What the nations of Europe must now decide - and the six-month Austrian presidency of the EU is determined to ensure they do - is how to tackle the people smugglers and thousands of giant-sized Chinese rubber rafts. The only realistic solution that I can see is European enclaves in North Africa in which we maintain migrant camps that can hold a million or more Africans - feed them, keep them safe from enslavement, provide basic medical care. And then send them home.